Lion beaters among the best ever

South African Rugby Union president Oregan Hoskins has congratulated the Springboks for writing themselves into history thanks to a 2-1 series win over the Lions earlier this summer. [more]

Lion beaters among the best ever

South African Rugby Union president Oregan Hoskins has congratulated the Springboks for writing themselves into history thanks to a 2-1 series win over the Lions earlier this summer.

The reigning World Champions edged a narrow series against Britain and Ireland’s elite last month to finally help banish the huge sense of disappointment that accompanied South Africa’s 2-1 defeat to the same opposition 12 years ago.

And Hoskins believes that the current crop of Boks have established themselves as among the best in the country’s history following a hugely successful 2009 to date.

"We have been treated to some masterful performances by a special group of players and management and I would like to congratulate Peter (de Villiers), John Smit and the players for the results they have produced this season," said Hoskins.

"The results have proved that the process we began last season was the right one. A new coach has introduced new players as well as managed to persuade others who had gone overseas to come back home and the blend has taken this team to another level.

Google Ad Manager – In Article

"This squad has grown into one very happy family and has set itself many goals. I regard it as one of the greatest squads and managements we have ever had and I hope supporters will join me in celebrating that fact.”

Saturday’s victory over Australia completed the Boks’ home fixtures for the year, with Hoskins delighted with how Peter de Villiers’ side have performed on South African soil.

The series triumph over the Lions has been followed by victories over the All Blacks (twice) and the Wallabies on successive weekends at the start of the Tri Nations. The result is that the Boks comfortably top the standings in the southern hemisphere’s premier international tournament as well as sitting pretty at the head of the current IRB World Rankings.

"I said before the start of the Lions series this team had the opportunity to write its name indelibly in the rugby annals and they did that against the Lions and now they have put another great opportunity within their reach," added Hoskins.

"The team has shown great composure and purpose through a daunting sequence of matches at home in 2009 and have richly deserved their status as the world’s top ranked team.

"No-one knows better than Peter and the players that winning away from home in the Vodacom Tri-Nations is the very hardest challenge in the game of rugby football.

"All the results so far have gone with home ground advantage and it will take a mighty effort for any side to win away from home this season.

"We wish them well on their travels and know that they will be doing their utmost to add the Vodacom Tri-Nations to an already long list of significant achievements."

The Boks won five of their six Tests played in South Africa this year and have now won nine of their last 10 internationals. The solitary defeat in that sequence was inflicted by the Lions in the third Test in Johannesburg on July 4.

Previous story Lions become Ospreys again
Next story Lions star recovering well
Download